BLACKTHORN

With a new album out that is so darn good that I can’t stop listening to it Russian black metal combo BLACKTHORN proves their rightful place in the black metal hierarchy. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’m so old that I remember the Danish fanzine by the name of Blackthorn. I guess you didn’t get the name from there. What made you go with Blackthorn as a band name?
Aina: Haha, I don’t remember such a zine! So, we didn’t get the band’s name from there. I just was looking through some dictionary and came across the word «Blackthorn». I immediately liked it. Later I found out that blackthorn is a magical tree, the tree of the spiritual strength and support, purification and protection. I think it defined many things in our career.

The «Gossamer Witchcraft» album is quite old now but you still seem to promote it. How does it feel to promote something that old?
Aina : I can’t say we promote it, but people are still interested in our debut album. I think it’s weird and great at the same time. We fully focus on the latest CD but I’m glad to see they remember and appreciate our old releases!

I take it that you’ve written some new songs. What direction are they going in?
Aina: Despite the fact that it’s been four months since we released our latest album «Codex Archaos», we’re already composing new stuff. One song is almost completely finished, by the way. I’m not sure about the direction, because the songs will be changed so many times before the next album, you know. We’ll have to wait and see. Check out Codex Archaos, that’s how we sound these days!

How’s work on the new album progressing? I can’t seem to find any info on if it’s actually out or not.
Aina: I guess you mean ‘Codex Archaos’. It’s our second full-length studio album, released through Russian label MSR Productions on December 11, 2011. The album’s available for purchase in MSR Productions online store, on ebay.com, amazon.com and for digital purchase in the iTunes Store. And by the way, you can get the album information and listen to some tracks on the official Facebook or Myspace.

Where does the symphonic sound come from? Any greater influences that take precedence over others, that take up more space?
Aina: The most important influences are black and symphonic black metal scenes and classical music, of course. These are definitely important part of the sound; but I don’t limit our influences only to that, I believe there’s something more, something otherworldly. Something that takes precedence over other things, just like you said.

What makes a band want to play black metal? Was that a conscious decision?
Aina: In fact we wanted to play something like that from the very beginning. We just waited for the right time, because of that we started as a pure gothic metal band. But now the right time has come.

How much of a clear vision did you have about the band’s sound from the start? How much of it has come with time and getting to know each other better?
Aina: As I’ve already said, we always wanted to sound dark, ominous and aggressive. Back in the days I felt we had a potential and desire, but we were too shy or inexperienced for that. So, as far as I remember, in the very beginning we didn’t plan to change our sound direction. However, I always anticipated the changes. Our new line up is much stronger than the old one. It now feels that we can take on the world, hehe. We’re ready to experiment with the sound and find new ways to express ourselves.

How important is the visual side of the band? Do you have a specific image you want to show off?
Aina: It’s important. We have always paid great attention to the stage image and tried to create a certain visual look to fit the atmosphere our music requires. Now it’s easier to do; recently we designed some stage costumes and then showed our drafts to a dressmaker. The result’s not so bad for the first time. We all look like members of the same order now! I find our stage costumes dark, stylish, strong and creatively different for an all-female metal band.

What is it like to play abroad; even it is just in neighbouring countries? How does the symphonic sound you have on record translate to the stage?
Aina: It’s very exciting. I love meeting new audience, seeing new places, tasting new food and so on. Ideally we would like to play abroad as much as possible. I really hope that we will get a chance to do this soon. In my opinion, our stage sound is almost as symphonic as the record one. Probably because of a live violin and backing tracks with rich keyboard parts and monumental choirs.

Do you plan on hitting the touring circuit around Europe/ROW harder with a new record to promote?
Aina: We already did a promotional Metal Spirit Resurrection tour in Poland and got back a month ago. Does it count? Anyway, it was smashing. We want more!

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